Just how secure are we? What can we do?
|It’s all different now that the war is over. Or is it?
It really hasn’t changed a bit, yet everyone seems more or less secure. More secure for some, less secure for others, with a vast majority who never thought of security before, now, nor will they in the future.
What irks me the most is that our government, that government made up of those who purportedly serve us, is using security and attendant fears to screw us. My opinion, sure, but one I hope to support, and hope even more to diminish.
First, we are literally being asked to give away our rights as citizens. We are at the point where an FBI agent can demand to see lists of which books we are reading, tap our phone conversations, and generally watch us surreptitiously without having to ask a judge for a warrant to do so. And, we don’t have to be told about it until it is all over.
Second, we are not permitted to travel freely anymore. Certainly we must watch who boards airlines, don’t we? Well, a lot of good that does, when all we are confiscating are fingernail clippers, personal pocketknives, tiepins and the like. Frankly, I’m surprised they aren’t confiscating sneakers since that nut tried to set off the bomb in his shoe.
Our governing “servants” are merely doing things they think will appease us and make us feel more secure. What’s dangerous is that they are not doing things that will actually make us more secure. When a grandmother is taken out of line at the airport for a more thorough search and a young Arab male is not, there is something wrong.
Don’t misunderstand me, I am not implying the young Arab male should be searched thoroughly either, but if you were going to feel the need to search someone, which of the two would you pick? Profiling has its place in security work, if it is performed properly.
Next, our state governments, servants who are more local to us, as well as the city servants, who are doing the most ridiculous things, costing us money and accomplishing next to nothing.
Even with the increased security around the Commonwealth of Virginia, had I wanted to bomb or to kill, it would have been easy to do so. Sure, I would have very likely been caught, charged, or even killed in the process, but that doesn’t seem to bother a lot of those who really are terrorists. So what have we accomplished?
We have made the general populace feel good at enormous cost, and we have not made this nation significantly safer.
What are the options? Well, I’m no expert in security, but it would seem that the best defense would be to be more vigilant at all levels, without the expensive extra shifts, specialized bomb squads and their equipment on alert, and drills to avert disasters that will, in all likelihood, happen differently than in the drills. All levels means from the lowliest citizen among us, to the highest official in the land.
Our news media needs to get some real, honest-to-goodness investigative reporters to report on what the government is and is not doing, in real measures, to protect this nation. Such coverage should be thorough and should be less “Hollywoodesque.” Give us the facts; show us the key people, and stop muddying the waters with guesses, rumors and insinuations. Teach journalists to dig for their own facts rather than re-reporting what others claim to be factual. Security is in holding onto truth as much as it is in patrolling the cities of our land.
We need to watch our borders more carefully; we need to investigate and deport those illegally in our country; we need to continue the CIA spy-stuff that detects groups and activities that may be harmful to us. We need to react to attacks on our interests, and we need to loudly and clearly proclaim to our international neighborhood that we will tolerate no activities that will endanger our country, our citizens, our friends, or our interests, foreign or domestic.
Along those lines, we have to ensure that there be no mistake of our sovereignty over any other country or international organization. We will cooperate when and where possible, but our interests must come first. It is up to us, the citizens, along with the aforementioned investigative reporters, to ensure those interests are truly ours and not those interests that merely enrich our politicians’ personal bank accounts.
Then we have to back up that rhetoric, swiftly, harshly, and decisively.
That, my friends is how we can begin to protect ourselves. That, my friends is how we can become truly secure.